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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Williams captues state berths in TAAF summer track meet

An incoming Pecos High School freshman competing with a group of Odessa runners has qualified for the 2005 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s state track and field meet in Waco on July 21-24.

Phillip Williams qualified by playing third in two events at the Region 10 meet in San Angelo this past weekend. Running as a member of the Odessa Flying Lions, Williams placed third in the 100 meter dash with a 12.9 second time, and third in the 200 meters, with a 26.1 second effort.

Kenneth Turner of Tall City Christ won both races with 12.5 and 25.7 times, while Williams’ teammates Telvin Green and Xae Fuller took second in the 100 and 200 meters, with times of 12.7 and 25.9 seconds respectively.

Williams’ father, Brian Williams, said Phillip would also participate in the 400 meter relay team at the state meet for the Flying Lions, which is mainly made up of incoming freshmen and sophomores at Odessa Permian High School.

“They had two teams, and he was one the one that was in first place, but they dropped the baton,” Brian Williams said. “But since he had the fastest split time in the group he was with, they’re going to move him to the 400 meters in the other group.”

Pecos opens sectional with Midland

The district and the division are new for the Pecos Little League All-Stars, but not for the district Pecos was scheduled to play in Fort Stockton Monday night, in the opening game of their Section 1 Tournament.

Pecos fielded an 11-year-old all-star team for the first time this year, and as a member of the new District 37 Little League, went through the four-team tournament last week undefeated, with a pair of wins over Monahans around a victory over Fort Stockton. That put the Little Leaguers into the Section 1 Tournament against Midland North-Central, the District 3 champions, at 8 p.m. on Monday night. Pecos Little League officials originally had announced the opening game would be against the representative of District 4, the district Pecos had been a part of for over 50 years, until the new District 37 was created this year, featuring more teams from the area.

This is the first year Pecos has split its 11 and 12-year-old All-Stars into two teams, but the 11-year-old tournament has been around for a number of years. Midland Northern won the state championship in that division last year, while North Central defeated this year’s group of 11-year-olds to claim the District 3 title.

Most of Pecos’ players on this year’s team advanced to Section 1 play last season in the 9-10 year old division, where the Little Leaguers fell to Midland Northern and Abilene Dixie in their two games.

Midland broke open their game with Pecos a year ago after pitcher Jesus Salgado was forced to leave the game after being hit by a line drive back to the mound. Manager Brandon Garnto said he would probably start Salgado in Monday night’s game against North-Central, after he defeated Monahans twice during the district tournament.

Salgado one-hit Monahans in a 3-0 win that clinched the title, after beating them by a 3-2 score in the opener on July 1. Brandon Garnto shut out Fort Stockton in Pecos’ other win, by a 5-0 margin.

Midland also went unbeaten through their tournament, clinching their title with a 7-2 win over Midland Northern.

Two of Pecos’ five youth league baseball teams earned spots in the sectional tournament for the second year in a row. Greenwood came all the way through the elimination round bracket after an opening loss to Pecos to take the 9-10 year old title, while Fort Stockton won the Junior League championship and Monahans took the District 37 Senior League title. Those teams were to begin their sectional tournaments this week in El Paso, San Angelo and Midland respectively.

LLers advance on second chance against Stockton

Staff Writer

The Pecos Little League All-Stars missed their first chance to clinch the District 37 championship in the 12-year-old division on Thursday in Fort Stockton. But they came through in the deciding game of the tournament later that evening, using a seven-run third inning to go on to a 12-6 victory over the host team.

The win in the new-district’s first-ever title game advanced Pecos to the Section 1 Tournament, beginning on Saturday at the Lubbock Western Little League complex. The tournament’s start was delayed two days due to a shortage of hotel rooms this week in the Lubbock area.

Pecos will face either the host Lubbock District 2 team or the representative from District 1 out of the Amarillo area in their opening game, which is now scheduled for a 12 noon start.

In the opening game, Pecos played catch-up for most of the game, but saw a four-run fourth inning by the hosts turn a 5-4 lead into a 9-4 advantage, on the way to an 11-4 win. But the deciding game was the reverse, as Pecos jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, then pushed seven runs across in the third after Fort Stockton tied the game.

The big third inning was enough of a cushion for starter Tad Rodriguez and two relievers to hold off Fort Stockton the rest of the way. Rodriguez was hurt by some errors and struggled in the later innings with his control, but left the game with a 12-5 lead.

“He struggled with his control, but he did a good job,” said manager Rene Rayos. “He came over here and had never pitched all season, so he did a heck of a job.”

Kevin Fuentes, who pitched an inning of scoreless relief in the opener, came on in the fifth inning and allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning before Rayos brought Joel Chavez in to pitch.

He was helped out by Joseph Orona, who snared Hector Escontrias’ line drive with two runners in scoring position to end the fifth inning, then allowed only one runner on an error in the sixth, striking out the other three batters to end the game.

Chavez had been considered as a starter for Thursday’s opener, but Rayos said he was bothered by a sore arm, and Arthur Navarette got the start instead. He went four innings, with a rain delay in-between, and allowed nine runs, while Jared Carpenter got the win for the host squad.

“His elbow was hurting. He told me he had a sore arm, but said he could pitch one inning, so I put him in when their good batters came up,” Rayos said.

Chavez, who had a two-run home run in the opening loss on Thursday that cut Fort Stockton’s lead to 5-4, opened the second game with a solo homer off starter Adrian Martinez for a 1-0 lead. Martinez would tie the game in the second, doubling and then scoring on Dustin Lopez’s single, before things fell apart for Fort Stockton with one away in the third.

Ramiro Pinales reached on an error by Carpenter at first base, which was followed by an intentional walk to Chavez and an unintentional one to Navarette, which loaded the bases. Rigo Nunez then hit a bouncer to first base that turned into an RBI single when pitcher Derek Fuentes failed to cover first base. Julian Armendariz then blooped a single into short right field scoring Chavez for a 3-1 lead.

Rodriguez then reached on an error by second baseman Brandon Lujan that scored two more runs to make it 5-1. An infield hit by Zack Rayos, another error and a bloop single to right by Fuentes made it 7-1 before Fort Stockton finally got the second out of the inning, on a fielder’s choice grounder by Pinales that also brought home the final run of the inning.

Fort Stockton mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the third, scoring three times on a double, two walks, a two-run single by Lujan and a passed ball that cut Pecos’ lead to 8-4. But Navarette opened the fourth inning with a home run to center field, and then with two outs and the bases loaded Fuentes bounced a single off the glove of new pitcher Alex Escontrias and into center field, scoring two runs. Rayos would then score on a double steal, to give Pecos a seven run lead.

Rodriguez allowed one run in the bottom of the fourth inning, but got Lujan to ground back to the mound with the bases loaded to end the scoring threat, and Orona’s catch stranded two more runners in scoring position to end the fifth inning, before Chavez closed out the game in the sixth.

The victory in the 12-year-old division, the highest-profile division in the Little League’s post-season tournament system, was the second in a row for Pecos, though the first in their new district. Pecos won the District 4 Little League title last year in the 11-12 year old division, but was beaten by Abilene Dixie and Lubbock Western in the Section 1 Tournament.

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